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Abortion: intense efforts by the Government to consolidate a majority in favor of legalization in the Senate


Political pressures and concessions to the provinces managed to reverse votes that had initially been expressed against the project to legalize abortion promoted by the Government; four senators need to be defined Source: LA NACION – Credit: Mauro Alfieri

A combination of political pressure and concessions from the Executive Power for some provinces would guarantee the Government the numbers to pass the draft law on legalization of abortion, that he Senate It is scheduled to debate on the premises tomorrow in a session that, it is expected, could last twelve hours.





In a scenario of volatile wills in which the convictions of two years ago seem to have given way to political expediency, less than 48 hours before the debate the board marks a parity at 34 votes, with four senators in the category of undecided or possible abstentions.



However, among the 34 legislators who reject the possibility of legalizing the voluntary interruption of pregnancy, there are two who can hardly vote. They are the ruling party Carlos Menem (La Rioja), who is hospitalized after suffering a heart problem, and Jose Alperovich (Tucumán), on leave until January 1 for the complaints of violation that weigh against him.


In the middle of “green” and “blue” are located four senators who could tip the scales for either of the two positions, in a list in which legislators who hide their votes to avoid pressure and escraches from both sectors coexist with those who are not convinced by the bill of the bill.

Senators are registered in the first of these categories Lucila Crexell (Neuquén Movement) and Entre Ríos Stella Olalla (UCR), who keep their decision under lock and key.



Alberto Weretilneck, whom everyone counted as a vote in favor of the project, called for changes.  Given the refusal of the Government to accept modifications, it analyzes abstaining
Alberto Weretilneck, whom everyone counted as a vote in favor of the project, called for changes. Given the refusal of the Government to accept modifications, it analyzes abstaining Credit: Senate Press

“They will find out about my vote when I press the button,” Crexell told THE NATION. Something similar expressed the radical senator, whose home became a pilgrimage mecca for the “celestial” Entre Rios on November 28, when those who reject abortion mobilized at the national level against its legalization.

In the second category they cover the official Edgardo kueider (Entre Ríos) and the provincial Alberto Weretilneck (Together We Are Río Negro).

Kueider was key to the bill getting an opinion in the Senate. Without his signature, he would not have reached the necessary majority in Justice, one of the three commissions that discussed the initiative. Of course, he signed in “partial dissent”, a position that justified by the need to introduce changes to the project.

For its part, Weretilneck, whom everyone counted in favor of the project, stood in the last plenary of commissions demanding that changes be introduced. In addition to questioning the breadth of the phrase “integral health”, established as one of the causes that would justify an abortion after 14 weeks, he also asked to establish the obligation to file a criminal complaint for rape cases.

Among the “greens” of the ruling party, they trusted that the Rio Negro would finally end up voting in favor and conforming to the promises that their claims would be contemplated in the regulation of the eventual law.

However, the picture may have changed after the Minister of Women, Gender and Diversity, Elizabeth Gómez Alcorta, broke the fragile balance reached by the ruling senators with the Rio Negro when he said that the Government did not intend to introduce changes to the project. After that irruption, Weretilneck considers abstaining.

Key changes

The still fragile majority that has the legalization of abortion was achieved not without arduous negotiations to reduce the strong rejection of abortion that exists in the official troop with the intention of giving the Government at least one political achievement before the end of the year.

One of those cases is that of the rionegrina Silvina Garcia Larraburu, which in 2018 voted against and now signed the opinion and will support the project. The legislator’s convictions seem to have mutated after a persistent work of “political pressure” from her colleagues on the bench that led her to declare that now conditions have changed, that there is a government that cares about health and that it will vote because It is not a play of “duranbarbismo”, as in 2018.


The image of Cristina Kirchner in the vicinity of Congress, in a mobilization of those who promote the legalization of abortion
The image of Cristina Kirchner in the vicinity of Congress, in a mobilization of those who promote the legalization of abortion Source: LA NACION – Credit: Ignacio Sánchez

The Casa Rosada, meanwhile, had to appeal to its power of persuasion with the Salta José Leavy, who two years ago voted against when he was a national deputy.

After meeting with Alberto Fernandez and that he announced the concretion of a housing plan in his province, “the Bear” Leavy said he was “rethinking” his position. It’s not the only one. If need be, others could go their way.

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